Henry Archer was the inventor of the first postage stamp perforating machine, which he patented in 1848. He invented this to enable easier stamp separation. He cleverly trialed his invention in the House of Commons so that the most influential people could see the advantage of his creation. It was a very shrewd decision because in 1854 the Government bought his invention.
This illustrated cover uses a 1d. stamp, lettered DA, which is from plate 94 from Archer’s experimental perforations. It has been used on a letter from William Gladstone to Benjamin Disraeli, sent from the House of Commons on 7 March 1853.
Gladstone held the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer at this time, having succeeded Disraeli in the role, and went on to become Prime Minister on four separate occasions. Disraeli went on to become Prime Minister twice. There was always a strong rivalry between these men, with them both succeeding each other in these roles throughout their careers.
Due to the nature and importance of the two men, this cover is highly interesting and it has been noted that Robson Lowe picked it out as one of his favourite covers of all time! We must agree and if you would like to see the cover in more detail, please click here.